[NetBehaviour] Joseph Nechvatal ‘Viral Symphony’ (complete).

info info at furtherfield.org
Thu Mar 5 11:12:14 CET 2009

Joseph Nechvatal ‘Viral Symphony’ (complete).

01 Viral Symphony 1st Movement (28:10)
02 Viral Symphony 2nd Movement - Murmuring Tongue Of Ovid (20:53)
03 Viral Symphony 3rd Movement (12:08)
04 Viral Symphony 4th Movement (10:10)
05 Post Mortem (28:10)

Total time 1h 40mn
Composed 2006-2008

Joseph Nechvatal: sound sources & synthesizer
Matthew Underwood: sound processing
Andrew Deutsch: sound processing
Stephane Sikora: programming
Jane Smith: voice (recorded 1985)
Kevin Harkins: synth on 4th Mvt & PostMortem

A founding member of the Tellus Audio Cassette Magazine, Joseph 
Nechvatal (b1951) famously curated two noise compilations for Tellus in 
1986 and 1988. He composed an opera called XS: The Opera Opus (1984-5) 
with Rhys Chatham. His visual and sound works since then has been 
concerned with ‘viral’ techniques, ie: computer-assisted complex 
structures, heavily processed material, unwanted input corrupting the 
media and a general self-annihilation of the artist as composer/painter. 
The computer is summoned to create the art in the same way the Golem was 
raised by Rabbi Löw to create the myth. Viral Symphony’s First Movement 
was published on CD in 2006 by The Institute for Electronic Arts. The 
rest of the symphony is derived from this 1st Mvt in variously processed 
textures. The 2nd and 3rd Movements include the voice of Jane Smith 
reading from Ovid’s Metamorphosis, an apt metaphor for a Symphony 
dealing with permanent mutability, in as much as the perpetually 
morphing sound particles are used as the very structure of the work. 
While the 1st Mvt is a cornucopia of noisy, aleatoric electronic debris 
in the ‘garbage in, garbage out’ tradition, the remaining movements are 
more ambient affairs in which compositional mystery and sonic restraint 
create tension and captivates the listener.


More information about the NetBehaviour mailing list